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Assignment Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Added on -2019-09-19

| 3 pages
| 1420 words

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What is cognitive behaviour therapy?
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) describes a number of therapies that all have a similar
approach to solving problems - these can range from sleeping difficulties or relationship
problems, to drug and alcohol abuse or anxiety and depression. CBT works by changing
people's attitudes and their behaviour. The therapies focus on the thoughts, images, beliefs
and attitudes that we hold (our cognitive processes) and how this relates to the way we
behave, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.
An important advantage of CBT is that it tends to be short, taking three to six months for
most emotional problems. Clients attend a session a week, each session lasting either 50
minutes or an hour. During this time, the client and therapist are working together to
understand what the problems are and to develop a new strategy for tackling them. CBT
introduces them to a set of principles that they can apply whenever they need to, and which
will stand them in good stead throughout their lives.
CBT is a form of psychotherapy which combines cognitive and behavioural therapy.
Cognitive therapy looks at how our thoughts can create our feelings and mood. Behavioural
therapy pays close attention to the relationship between our problems, our behaviour and our
thoughts. CBT may focus on what is going on in the present rather than the past, but often the
therapy will also look at how thinking patterns may have begun in early childhood and the
impact patterns of thinking may have on how we interpret the world as adults.
What's the history of CBT?
In the 1960s, a US psychiatrist and psychotherapist called Aaron T. Beck observed that,
during his analytical sessions, his patients tended to have an 'internal dialogue' going on in
their minds, almost as if they were talking to themselves. But they would only report a
fraction of this kind of thinking to him.
For example, in a therapy session the client might be thinking to him- or herself: 'He (the
therapist) hasn't said much today. I wonder if he's annoyed with me?' These thoughts might
make the client feel slightly anxious or perhaps annoyed. He or she could then respond to this
thought with a further thought: 'He's probably tired, or perhaps I haven't been talking about
the most important things'. The second thought might change how the client was feeling.
Beck realised that the link between thoughts and feelings was very important. He invented
the term 'automatic thoughts' to describe emotion-filled or 'hot' thoughts that might pop up in
the mind. Beck found that people weren't always fully aware of such thoughts, but could
learn to identify and report them. If a person was feeling upset in some way, the thoughts
were usually negative and neither realistic nor helpful. Beck found that identifying these
thoughts was the key to the client understanding and overcoming his or her difficulties.
Beck called it cognitive therapy because of the importance it places on thinking. It's now
known as CBT because the therapy incorporated behavioural techniques as well. The balance
between the cognitive and the behavioural elements varies among the different therapies of
this type, but all come under the general term 'cognitive behaviour therapy'. CBT has since
undergone scientific trials in many places by different teams, and has been applied to a wide
variety of problems.

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